Masks on or off?, vaccines and young teens, 7th Covid Budget, Syttende Mai, rental assistance, mental health resources...

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May 17, 2021

mask on ground Photo by Michael Jin, Unsplash

Photo by Michael Jin, Unsplash

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Judging by recent media coverage and emails I’ve been receiving from constituents, there are plenty of questions and concerns about the CDC’s new guidance on mask-wearing for fully vaccinated people.  More on this confusion – and some answers – are included below.

According to news reports today, New York will adopt the new C.D.C. (Centers for Disease Control) guidelines on masks for the vaccinated (The New York Times) while California won’t lift its mask requirement for another month (The Seattle Times).  KUOW reported this morning on the range of reactions to the new guidance from supermarkets, restaurants and Washington state health officials.  As of this writing, we have not heard official word from the state Department of Health or the Governor, although DOH tweeted this message today, “Even if you're vaccinated, wearing a mask in public can still protect people from COVID-19.”

And, Public Health – Seattle & King County just tweeted, “Public Health – Seattle & King County is considering whether ending the indoor mask mandate is the best option in King County at this time and if additional guidance or clarification is needed. We will provide an update later this week.”

Here at King County, employees were informed: “At King County, our existing mask mandate for employees remains in force while we review and update our policy guidance.”

The CDC’s new guidelines are apparently based on scientific studies that have confirmed the efficacy of the vaccines.  This brings us to the underlying question we all have, as discussed in this Seattle Times article: Is it now reasonable to discuss the end of the pandemic? Yes, but with caveats.

This is all very hopeful news, discussed in more detail below.  I will say, however, that it is important to remember this is a global pandemic, variants are spreading and people are flying again.  I certainly won’t be throwing out my masks anytime soon!

As always, I would like to hear from you. You can call me at 206-477-1004 or you can reach me by email at 

All the best and I hope you are staying safe.